In 1999 I packed my bag and kissed my 3 year old son goodbye as my husband and I made plans to go to the hospital. I was being induced to have my second child. The nursery was painted pink and a name had been picked. I was a mere 24 years old. I promised my son I would be home in a few days and his little sister would be with me. That didn’t happen.
Two weeks prior to going into the hospital I had had a nightmare which I shared with my doctor. The doctor thought it was a ‘New Mommy Fear’. As it turned out the labor and delivery process took a turn for the worse and my child was dead on arrival. She was revived and then shipped off via helicopter to the local children’s hospital two hours away. My sweet little baby lived less than two months and my world came to an end. I felt like a liar to my son and a horrible mother to my 3 year old. My life slipped into the grip of depression.
There is no greater pain than loosing a child. I wanted to sleep and the doctors begin to give my anti depressants. My heart was broken and I physically hurt. I tried to pull it together. My marriage failed and I turned to self destructive behavior. The faith I had was shattered and my life was despair. To make matters worse I had to deal with other unhealthy family relationships. I felt guilt when I had a brief moment of happiness. The first rain after my child was buried brought me to a tizzy. All I could think of was my baby was getting wet beneath the surface of the dirt.
It was a long process but in time my heart did mend. Fear had become such a common emotion to me. I was afraid to love what I had left out of fear that it too would be jerked from my life. I was afraid to love mostly, myself. I can assure you if you loose a child that you can make it through. I am not an expert with a degree in psychology but I have lived it first hand. Time does heal even when it moves so slowly. You have to surround yourself around healthy, positive people and it is perfectly acceptable to reach out for professional council. People need to know what you need. If it hurts for them to put photos away let them know. If photos are too much to bare, let them know! People can not read your mind. Keeping a journal is a great way to deal with your pain and take notes on your progress. Own your feelings and find what works for you. Everyone deals with grief different ways but it must go through the entire process.
In time you will learn to love again and live again. In time you will learn how to smile. You will realize that it is ok to be happy. It is not fair to those who are left living that love you if you only cling to the past. Experience your grief but do what you can to focus on the life and the future rather than pain and the past. You never completely get over the loss of a child but you can smile again, it just takes time!